So we’ve officially rolled into February, and where you are at with those health and wellness goals for 2013? It’s traditionally around this time that we start to let go of the motivation we had at the New Year, only a month ago.

How can you keep the motivation going? I know for me, it’s all in the scheduling and planning ahead.

1. PLAN AHEAD: I do my grocery shopping for the week on Mondays (after a killer Spin class). So Sunday nights, I take stock of the pantry and fridge, flip through my cook books and set up the meals for the week. ALL of the meals. Then I make a grocery list, and I stick to what’s on my list only. Not only do I save calories this way (by not buying unnecessary junk) but I save money too because if it’s not on the list, it doesn’t go into the grocery cart. Then Monday I make the lunches for the week, place them into separate containers so they are easy grab and go meals. I also label the food/lunches with the calories etc so it’s easy to track. Any prep work for dinners are done at this time too. So I have no excuses to stick to my meal plan and order in instead. I also let my family know what we are having each night, and lunches so we can keep each other accountable. Accountability is a good thing!

2. SCHEDULE YOUR WORKOUTS: For me this a HUGE help. I plan out what workouts I’m going to do on each day of the week, taking into consideration my work schedule and other things I have going on. Most of the studios that I go to use an online scheduler so I sign up for the classes ahead of time. This guarantees me a spot, but also keeps me from sleeping in. I don’t want to have someone miss out on a sold out class because I didn’t show. If I schedule it, I get my butt up and out the door to make that class. Scheduling my workouts ahead of time keeps me accountable, and allows me to see what I’m doing and mix up my workouts more.

3. MIX IT UP: If you are hopping on a treadmill everyday, walking and watching the news you are bound to get bored fast and therefore drop your workouts. It’s key to keep it fun by mixing it up. Maybe try some High Intensity Intervals on the treadmill, like walk during the news portion, and do sprints at a faster pace during the commercials. You’ll be surprised how fun this can be. Add other workouts that maybe you’ve never tried before like kickboxing, spin, yoga, pilates, even hulu hooping or Zumba. Pick something that is going to be at your speed, something you would find fun, and stick to it. Add that into your regular workout out routine and you will avoid plateauing and burnout

4. ACCOUNTABILITY: I’ve already mentioned this a few times. Hold yourself accountable by using an app like Lose It or My Fitness Pal. Studies have shown that people who log their calorie intake actually will eat less than they would without paying attention to what goes in. These apps are also great for scheduling and tracking your workouts. I’m obsessed with Lose It and log EVERYTHING. Hey, if I clean the house, I’m logging that and get those activity points too. HA! Also, finding a workout buddy can be a great way to keep on track. Having another person relying on you to show up for workouts will help you both keep each accountable.

5. MILESTONE REWARDS: Give yourself something to work towards instead of just the number on a scale. Allow yourself a cheat MEAL (not a whole DAY) once a week, Reward yourself with a treat like a cupcake (don’t forget to count it into your daily calories), or maybe for every 10 pounds lost you buy a new pair of shoes or something to reward yourself that is not food/drinks. Setting smaller, realistic goals like this makes it easy to stay on track, and gives you something to work towards.

6. GET TECHNICAL: I love gadgets and find they really help me in my fitness goals. I just bought a new HR monitor and while using it in Spin I found myself working harder so I could really get that heart rate up. I love having music with my workouts, so once a week I change out my playlists to keep the music fresh, and in turn that keeps my heart pumping.

Use the tips above to help you stick to those health, wellness and fitness goals. You can do it!

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